Government Bytes


Harry Reid's Angry Rant Against Spending Restraint

by Brandon Greife / /

Out of touch. There is very little else you can say aboutHarry Reid and his latest rant against a common sense and popular approach toraising the debt ceiling. During a speech on the Senate floor Thursdayafternoon he called the Cut, Cap and Balance bill “one of the worst pieces oflegislation to ever be brought to the floor of the Senate.” Among some otherchoice adjectives, he went on to call it “weak,” “senseless,” and an “anathema.”

Just so we’re clear what made Harry Reid so furious, the Cut,Cap and Balance bill would make modest spending cuts next year, enact spendingcaps that would gradually reduce expenditures to historic levels, and pass aBalanced Budget Amendment. Exactly which of those three ideas is what set offthe Reid temper tantrum? Is it that Harry Reid refuses to spend at historiclevels (which, we may add would still run deficits)? Is it the idea of aBalanced Budget Amendment, which recent polls show two-thirds of Americans(including strong majorities of Democrats and independents support)?

He also said that the ‘bill was a waste of the Senate’stime’, a bold statement from a man who just last week spent days on anon-binding Sense of the Senate to say we should raise taxes on millionaires. Hesaid that he ‘refuses to waste even one more day on this piece of legislation’which, may be interesting if the Senate had ever spent a day actually debatingit.

So what is Harry Reid so anxious to do? Perhaps he doesn’thave the time because he’s been super busy crafting his own plan to raise thedebt limit, or at least reviewing the President’s plan.  Nah, it can’t be either of those sinceneither Reid nor the President has put forward a credible plan to raise thedebt ceiling.  Maybe it’s his tireless workin putting together a budget? Considering they haven’t come up with one in morethan 810 days, can’t be that either.  

It is time for Reid to stop bloviating and get down tolegislating. As it stands there is only one plan out there that not onlyeliminates any immediate threat of a default by raising the debt limit, butalso puts us on a path to permanently eliminate deficits – Cut, Cap andBalance. The very same idea that Reid has taken to calling the worst thingever.

Rather than give this plan its due, Harry Reid decided tohide behind a cheap political trick called a “motion to table.” This slyprocedural maneuver kills a bill without ever voting on it, or even voting toproceed to a vote. One has to wonder why, if it is the worst bill ever, Reidfeels the need to hide. Is he scared of an honest debate? That, or he’s justscared to have his members vote on record againsta plan that would avert fiscal catastrophe.

It is not Cut, Cap and Balance that is “weak” and senseless,”no, those adjectives seem to apply to Harry Reid’s leadership. Or should I say,lack thereof.